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Nº 77 – Our Goal? Natural Biodiversity.

Saturday 6th of March 2021

This coming Tuesday, 9 March, from 6pm onwards, an exciting ONLINE debate on the Forest of the South will take place. The debate is hosted by the „Floresta Autóctone“ citizens’ action group, whose initiators belong to Portugal’s longest-established association dedicated to nature conservation, CAMPO ABERTO from Oporto. The main topic of debate will be the opportunities and programmes to free forested plots of land of the invasive eucalyptus monoculture which foments climate change through forest fires, and to reforest these plots with native tree species, recreating plant diversity. To this end four moderators from Aljezur and Monchique will present their programmes. This is the third event in this series which has in the past already presented projects from northern and central Portugal that ECO123 reported on in its latest edition.

The presentation next Tuesday of the first project, from Aljezur, aims to raise more awareness of native forest protection, as well as make the agricultural practices applied in the region more compatible with the available and future natural resources, including in order to promote a greater resilience of a region faced with anthropogenic climate change. That presentation will take 30 minutes.

The second project out of Monchique will be presented in a multidimensional format by four moderators, also with a duration of 30 minutes in total. The Monchique Alerta – Serra Livre Dos

Incêndios association (Monchique Alert – Our Mountains Free From Fires), founded after the 2018 forest fire, supports the building of cisterns, to enable its members to use their own water reservoirs to fight future fires on their forest land better and more effectively, but also for the irrigation of newly planted trees. Portimão-based lawyer Rui Amores represents the association in court, where it appears as joint plaintiff against the alleged arsonist, EDP-Distribuição SA., claiming damages and reparations. The last contribution of the evening presents another project dedicated to the reconversion of monocultures with their inherent fire-hazard risk, and the long-term reforestation with alternative native tree species.

The organisers are hoping to transform the native forest, creating a sustainably ecological and economic equilibrium. What can we do to slow down climate change, to stop it even, and to preserve biodiversity?

Following the one-hour presentation, the open debate will offer up the opportunity to exchange ideas, to ask questions and highlight possible solutions in the shape of a joint discussion. Held in Portuguese, the debate is led by the coordinators of the Floresta Autóctone initiative.

 

Jorge Moreira, José Carlos Costa Marques and Marta Mota are the founders of this initiative, which by now counts over 1,300 signatures and has an online presence at

https://florestautoctone.webnode.pt. You can reach the initiative by email on: florestautoctone@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 9 March, 6pm (Lisbon time)

Virtual session, subject: An Alliance for the Native Forest

Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82877876469?pwd=b3dncGNzaGc3L05JRjd0ejZWRkg5Zz09

Password: 865861 ·  Meeting ID: 828 7787 6469

https://florestautoctone.webnode.pt/apelo/

Schedule

6pm Introduction by the „Aliança pela Floresta Autóctone” (Alliance for the Native Forest) coordinators

6.15pm Nuno Carvalho – „Floresta Autóctone de Aljezur” (Native Forest Aljezur) initiative

6.45pm Ana Nunes and Carlos Abafa – Monchique Alerta (Monchique Alert) association

6.55pm Rui Amores – Lawyer, Monchique Alerta association

7.05pm Uwe Heitkamp – Journalist, Jardim da Floresta Botânica (Botanic Forest Garden), Monchique

7.15pm Open Discussion

8 pm End

Uwe Heitkamp (60)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations : Dina Adão, Tim Coombs, João Medronho
Fotos: Stefanie Kreutzer

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